Pablo Gomez Molina and Ulises De Ymas with Swedish Olympic dressage rider Louise Nathhorst and Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven of Lövsta.
Wellington, FL – January 12, 2020 – In the inaugural Lövsta Future Challenge Intermediate II series qualifier for developing grand prix horses, it was winner Pablo Gomez Molina who took the coveted qualifying spot for the final in the Global Arena, which takes place during the 12th and final week (March 25-29) of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.
The 25-year-old Spanish rider paired up with Ulises De Ymas, a 10-year-old Spanish-bred gelding. He is owned by Gomez Molina’s employers, Yeguada De Ymas, who bred the horse.
“It was only our second inter II,” said Gomez Molina, who has been riding the horse since he was four. “We tried our first one on Thursday to see if we could do the qualifier today and Ulises was really good. It was a good plan to go early in the season to secure the place in the final.
“Ulises really tries all the time and stays with you. It’s great to have the opportunity to do the Future Cup to develop a young horse like him. He’s probably not quite ready for grand prix, but a class like this helps get you to the grand prix little by little.
“He’s a really sweet horse; you can put anyone on him. But when you ask him to work, he’s right there with you and always tries to do everything. Even if he doesn’t understand, he tries to make you happy. It’s so great to have a horse like that to compete,” added Gomez Molina, who rides around 12 horses a day.
Gomez Molina has worked for Yeguada De Ymas for seven years and splits his time, spending winters in Wellington and summer in Europe, competing on both sides of the Atlantic.
Croatia’s Karen Pavicic and Danish rider Rikke Poulsen tied for first place in the Future Challenge Prix St. Georges test with both scoring 69.927%, meaning both now qualify for the final. Pavicic piloted her own eight-year-old Totilas x Donnerhall gelding Totem, while Poulsen rode her own nine-year-old Furstentanz, by Fürstenball.
Poulsen said: “I was really pleased that I showed him Thursday and Friday in the national Prix St. Georges because he can hold his breath in a test. I finally felt him more with me and relaxed so I could enjoy riding the test. Furstentanz has been a really late bloomer, but finally I feel it all coming together.
“Now that he’s pre-qualified in the big ring, if he can mentally take it, then maybe I’ll do a small tour CDI. He is a fresh horse and can be naughty, which is why I want to make sure I don’t push him too hard too fast,” added the 41-year-old who has been based in Wellington since 2008 and trains both dressage and jumping horses.
She also praised the Future Challenge developing horse classes, saying: “You can compare yourself with the other young horses and see where we are at in your training. I’m very excited that they put those classes in the schedule. It’s great to have the final to look forward to and train accordingly now that we qualified this early in the season.
Grand Prix rider Anna Marek (USA) had been knocking at the door all week in the small tour classes and she finally broke through on Sunday to top the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by Triple Crown Nutrition.
Marek, who is 30, rode a challenging floorplan on the rangy and appropriately named Snoopy Sunday on the concluding day of the season’s opening week. The ambitious floorplan included flying changes out of counter-canter and the 11-year-old gelding, by the Sandro Hit son Sungold, was rewarded with 73.8%.
“Yesterday he was very spooky and I’m not sure why,” said the Ocala-based rider. “I was thrilled today after such a tough ride yesterday. He’s really not a spooky horse, but he’s not been in an arena like this and so yesterday I was a little surprised. There were just so many mistakes and he was so scared of the wind and the tent, so I was really excited that he was so good today.
“Karen Robinson put the freestyle together for me and we made it for Snoopy. She matched the music really well to his movements, and what I love about it is that I can hear the transitions into and out of the pirouette or the changes or the trot half-passes,” said Marek, who finished third in the previous day’s FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* riding Dee Clair.
“I trust Snoopy,” added Marek, who is 6ft tall. “I trained him for the owner a couple of years ago and took him to a few small horse shows, then ended up buying him. We get along really well and I love him, although he’s actually quite small. Anne [Gribbons] told me that he was too small for me and I kept telling her that I thought he was a really nice horse. She didn’t really believe me at first, but I kept showing him to her and saying, ‘I swear this is a good horse!’ And now she believes me and loves him as much as I do.”
Ariana Chia (CAN) won the two small tour CDI3* classes earlier in the week, but in this instance had to settle for second with her own ultra-consistent gelding Fiderflame. The 10-year-old by Fidertanz scored 72.85%.
In the day’s other Intermediate I class, amateur rider Amanda Lopez contested the class on her two horses, clinching the win with her own 16-year-old Quantum, who is by the jumping stallion Quite Easy. The Swedish-bred gelding posted 66.324%.
In the day’s highest-level class, the Intermediate II CDI3*, Susan Dutta (USA) showcased her and her husband Tim Dutta’s 10-year-old Hanoverian Don Design DC. A couple of niggling errors towards the end of the test subdued the score, but they finished on 69.853%, a sign of the horse’s talent. The dark bay gelding is by the stallion Der Designer (since gelded), who was sold as a five-year-old at the PSI auction in 2011 for €1.1 million.
For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.